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DMV News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hoops Fans Should Designate a Sober Driver During March Madness
DMV Encourages Basketball Enthusiasts to Make the Right Call

RICHMOND - While fans anticipate the crowning of the Final Four winner in New Orleans next month, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles encourages those getting together to cheer on their favorite college basketball teams to designate a sober driver before the party begins.

"March Madness shouldn't translate into madness on Virginia's roadways," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Driving drunk is never OK. I challenge everyone to choose not to drink and drive, and to help others make the right choices, too. Drunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, impaired driving is one of America's most often committed and deadliest crimes, and death is eight times more likely when alcohol is involved in a crash. In 2011, there were 765 crashes in Virginia and 186 were alcohol-related. As of February 29, there have been 98 crashes in Virginia and 17 were alcohol-related.

"The risks and costly consequences of driving while impaired are far too serious," Holcomb said. "With increased enforcement efforts and well-trained law enforcement officers, if you are caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested."

Those hosting March Madness parties where alcohol is being served are responsible for getting all their guests home safely. Party hosts can be held liable and prosecuted if someone they serve at their March Madness party ends up in an impaired driving crash. Here are some tips for hosting a party:

  • Before the party starts, assign a responsible, designated driver and give them the keys
  • Immediately stop serving alcohol to any guest who is displaying signs of intoxication
  • Serve high protein, high carbohydrate foods - these help absorb alcohol at a higher rate than sugary foods
  • Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available
  • Make sure drinks are not made with high amounts of alcohol
  • Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party is scheduled to end
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